Along the Backstretch
Schrum and Levin (2009)
As joyful and welcome the spring months are, they do bring a range of challenges to those of us who work together in public schools. In the domain of nature, spring is a time of renewal, rebirth and rejuvenation as the shackles of cold, snow and ice are tossed aside and replaced with the warmth rainy days and sunshine. These may be the conditions outside the school walls, but in many cases, they are not the conditions inside the school walls.
The reality is, April and May often represent the time of year where staff energy levels and morale take a dip. Initiatives and projects that were launched in the excitement of the fall months may have started to wane, or they may have just ceased. Additionally, as the school year moves towards a conclusion, thoughts of ‘next year’ creep in as administrators share of teaching assignments, enrollment-related adjustments to staffing and the approach of class placements. It is easy for us to slip into a state of limbo where there is so much thought on what’s to come next, we pay less attention to the now.
This past week I was involved in a few conversations that helped jolt me back to the here and now. The creative and innovative teacher leaders I work with reminded me that we needed to keep our focus on the professional learning goals and structures we set out for this year and that they needed me to be involved and engaged in this process. It is not enough for the school leader to initiate an innovation or a change, ongoing monitoring and reflection on the innovation or change are equally, if not more, important.